You guys, you would be so proud of me. Once I actually left for New Mexico, I hardly even panicked or felt guilty. I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO USE MY ANXIETY MEDICINE. For a girl who a) has anxiety attacks over not-so-fluffy lettuce, b) just left her Little Man for longer than she ever has and c) received a New Mexico Mouth Massage, this was quite a breakthrough.
After being hit with a houseful of colds, a teething Howler Monkey and an unexpected crap ton of work right before I left, I had never been so relieved to get on a plane! I think I would have been happy to be sent down a Chilean mine just for the change of scenery (Ooooh, that’s going to get some hate mail. I’m KIDDING. I’m absolutely riveted to the live video stream of the heroic miners).
The truth is that I sort of horned in on my friend Erin’s trip to visit her parents for six days. Her parents, Donna and Dave, live in Los Alamos and are incredible hosts. They are quite possibly the kindest, most welcoming people on the planet AND they had activities planned for every day of our trip including great eats. I wanted to put them in my pocket and take them home with me.
But I’m not going to tell you about shopping in Santa Fe, hiking to Williams Lake, staying in the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, visiting the Taos Pueblo, climbing up to the Alcove House in Bandelier, eating at Café Pasqual’s or drinking green chili beer at Eske’s. I AM going to tell you about the crazy New Mexican mouth massage I received.
Because these things only happen to me.
On our first full day in New Mexico we all went to Ten Thousand Waves Spa and Resort. It’s a gorgeous mountain spa just outside of Santa Fe and honestly, Mickey Mouse can stuff it, because this is the REAL “Happiest Place on Earth.” Being notoriously cheap, I had never been to a spa so I was enamored with the big white robes, beautiful Koi pond and relaxing foot soak. Then Donna, Dave, Erin and I enjoyed the Waterfall Bath. It’s a private area of the spa including a polished concrete hot bath, a plunge pool (with waterfall) and a sauna. PURE BLISS. How have I lived so long without this??? I almost washed the redneck off me. Almost.
After the hot bath, Erin and I proceeded to get ready for our massages. YES, it was a couple’s massage because that was the only opening they had and YES, my robe got wet while at the hot bath so my butt and boobs were showing through while I traipsed around the lobby. But that was nothing compared to the awkwardness to come.
Our massage therapists met us in the lobby and led us downstairs to our room. By pure chance, I ended up with Noola (Noula? Nula? Anyway, it rhymed with doula which was fitting because she gave birth to a whole new level of social discomfort. She will now be known as Her Awkwardness) I stripped off my robe, hopped on the table facedown and prepared myself for some serious relaxation. I was taken by surprise when Her Awkwardness started karate chopping my back and then HOPPED UP ON MY TABLE, STRADDLED ME and started systematically forcing all of the air out of my lungs while my eyeballs popped out of my head. I wanted to pass Erin a note asking “are you witnessing any of this?” The whole thing felt clumsy, frantic and a little like a Saturday Night Live skit.
Silly me, I thought the weirdest part of the massage was over. Nope. I was face up when Her Awkwardness started massaging my neck. She noted that my jaw was tense and asked if I wanted her to work on it. People, if only I could go back in time and say “no.” I heard the snap of surgical gloves and suddenly my mouth was being MASSAGED FROM THE INSIDE. What the hell?
I couldn’t see Erin or her massage therapist but I heard what I thought was a snicker. I totally lost it and started giggling hysterically. Her Awkwardness asked if she was using too much pressure. Ummm, that’s not the problem, WOMAN. The problem is the fact that you have a surgically gloved hand shoved IN MY MOUTH.
I hear Erin’s massage therapist say “Excuse me, I need to leave the room” followed by some sobbing noises and the door shutting. We then proceed to hear her, out in the hall, sobbing for the next ten minutes. I immediately freak out and decide that she’s just had a massive loss in her life, grief overtook her and she started crying and then I rudely laughed “with her.” I’m panicking at my social faux pas and finally tell Her Awkwardness that this whole thing is a little too weird. Meanwhile, Erin is facedown and can’t see anything, so she’s left wondering what on earth is going on.
The other massage therapist comes back in, our massages quietly continue as if no weirdness occurred…and then we’re done.
Erin and I race to the locker room and frantically try to sort out what happened between stifled giggles. We decided that what sounded like sobs, had to be laughter. How could the other massage therapist watch her coworker karate chop and straddle her customer and then MASSAGE THE INSIDE OF HER MOUTH without completely succumbing to giggles? Especially if she could see the look of surprise on my face. Impossible. I would love to have been a fly on the wall of that room after we left!
I still giggle about it every time it pops into my head. The best part is that after we regaled Dave and Donna with the story between fits of hysterical laughter, I looked up information on jaw massages. Turns out, that’s a totally valid technique. But they should at least warn you before they shove a gloved hand in your mouth.
Despite the awkwardness, I left Ten Thousand Waves completely and utterly relaxed. It was a great way to start a vacation and so absolutely FITTING. Because really, who else would that happen to?